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Friday, December 8, 2023

Issues to do on Cape Breton Island


My mother and I became the French Mountain car parking zone in Cape Breton’s Highlands Nationwide Park. After pulling right into a parking area I walked over to the Skyline Path signal. I had been informed mountain climbing the Skyline path was the most effective issues to do on Cape Breton. This was presupposed to be the most effective hike within the park for views. I had heard about it, seen photos, and examine it. I had drunk the Skyline Path Kool-Assist, and I wished to do it.

Wanting on the map we decided it didn’t look too onerous, however it will take a few hours to finish. We checked out one another and realized we didn’t have time to do it; we needed to hold going. 

If we stopped to hike all the unbelievable trails within the park we’d by no means make it round the Cabot Path in a day and to our resort! I reluctantly received again within the automotive and we saved going with a sinking feeling.

cape breton island hikes

Cape Breton Island in Canada is thought for outside actions and adventures, and I didn’t actually have time to do any of them. The one solace I may muster up was making a pact with myself I might come again once more so I may do all the greatest issues to do on Cape Breton.

Quick-forward 4 years and I’m again on Cape Breton Island to meet that plan. I spent per week on the island with buddies Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels. We centered on getting outdoors every day on a unique hike, journey, or expertise. This fashion we had been in a position to see and expertise the number of actions the island supplied.

The Greatest Issues to do on Cape Breton

Skyline Path Hike

Issue: Simple – nicely marked and there isn’t a lot elevation change. The path itself is well-groomed and simple to stroll. The loop part is a little more rugged, however nonetheless within the simple class. 

Distance: 4 miles return or 5.1-mile loop 

Location: Situated in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park alongside the Cabot Path on the prime of French Mountain. There are indicators for the car parking zone.

The terrain is pretty common for the primary two-thirds of the stroll as you wind by the forest and get teased by views of Cabot Path by the bushes. Nevertheless it’s the final third that may have you ever oohing and aahing.

You all of the sudden depart the forest space behind and are excessive on prime of a headland cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A boardwalk with stairs leads you right down to a viewpoint with benches. Hold your eyes peeled for whales and benefit from the view. That is additionally an important place for a picnic lunch or sundown hike.

Mabou Western Coastal Hike

Issue: Simple to Reasonable – nicely marked, however in spots, you’ll want to look at your footing as there are tree roots in some elements. Nonetheless, the quick distance of this path additionally makes it fairly simple.

Distance: 1.8 miles in the event you go all the way in which to the top and again

Location: Trailhead and map are close to the car parking zone earlier than you head right down to the seashore.

It is a quick little hike however I used to be slowed down by the seashore views. This is usually a easy out-and-back hike, or you possibly can go alongside the bluffs on the way in which out and comply with the path right down to the seashore and stroll again alongside the seashore.

You’ll begin out in a dense space of Spruce bushes and rolling inexperienced hills after which come out on prime of the sand dunes the place it’s extra of an open subject. We walked again alongside the seashore and loved the crashing waves and assembly locals alongside the seashore.

Stroll on the Inverness Boardwalk

Issue: this can be a easy stroll anybody can do. 

Distance: Almost 1 mile to the top of the boardwalk 

Location: 158 Seashore No. 1 Street, Inverness – head in direction of the ocean till the highway ends, and also you’ll be initially of the boardwalk. There’s parking by the seashore.

cape breton island hiking inverness boardwalk
On the boardwalk!

This actually isn’t a hike, it’s only a good little stroll the place you possibly can absorb the ocean air and a beautiful place for sundown. The boardwalk begins on the public seashore, runs above the seashore, and ends overlooking the Cabot Hyperlinks Golf Course.

In case you are bored with watching the ocean, you possibly can watch golfers tee off on the most effective programs on this planet. There have been a whole lot of locals out strolling their canine alongside the seashore and swimming within the shallow waters.

Center Head Hike

Issue: simple to average. There’s some rolling up and down – however nothing steep. The path is well-marked and groomed. There are some locations the place it is advisable to watch your footing. 

Distance: 2.4-mile loop 

Location: Parking is positioned on the trailhead behind the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish.

Hike out the slim peninsula separating two ocean bays and finish on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll wind by the forest after which out a slight uphill to the top of the peninsula. Right here you possibly can sit and watch the ocean birds soar overhead and soak up the great thing about Cape Breton Island. There’s a loop path that may take you again a extra forested approach, or return the way in which you got here.

Discover the Greatest Views in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

This is without doubt one of the crown jewels of Cape Breton Island. This Nationwide Park has various fantastic mountain climbing trails, eating places, small cities, and so many unbelievable coastal views!

One in every of my favourite and most intelligent makes use of of the Adirondack chair in Nova Scotia Canada was by the Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park of their “Purple Chair Problem”. The mission was to seek out and sit in ten pink chairs scattered round Cabot Path. At every chair, there’s a novel view of the panorama and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayak
A full moon is all the sunshine we would have liked for kayaking

Take a Sea Kayak Journey

In case you are trying to give your legs a break and provides your higher physique a exercise, then attempt a kayak journey on Cape Breton. This isn’t only a paddling journey, additionally, you will be handled to gourmand native meals and wine.

We really went on a full moon tour and kayaked at night time. Because the solar went down we left the shore in Baddeck and did a golden hour paddle round Kidsten Island. Hold your eyes peeled for seabirds across the island. Proper earlier than the solar disappears you’ll find yourself on the Kidsten Island lighthouse the place you possibly can seashore your kayaks and get images of this idyllic setting.

We paddled as much as the shore the place there have been platters of meals being ready at our personal non-public gazebo. The meals was ready by chef Brian Pickard of the favored native restaurant, the Chunk Home, and paired with Nova Scotia Canada wine and beer. Our information surprisingly received out a guitar and we had reside leisure. I liked the vibe of this entire night; it was like a gourmand tenting night time.

They solely run this nighttime tour throughout the full moon so make sure you test the North River Kayak web site for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour might not be out there. However no worry – you possibly can nonetheless have an unbelievable kayak journey throughout daytime hours. North River Kayak affords various completely different excursions and paddling courses.

Play on a Prime Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Course is ranked nineteenth on this planet’s prime 100 golf programs, so why not cease and get in 9 holes? And in the event you can, do a whole 18 because the final 3 holes of the course are a few of probably the most spectacular views on Cape Breton Island! And make sure you deliver loads of further balls to exchange all the ones you will lose off the cliffs!

For the primary time in 20 years, I stepped onto a golf course to look at Pete play this well-known course. Evidently – I felt a little bit self-conscious. We weren’t even utterly positive they’d let me stroll alongside on such a famend course, however they didn’t appear to have any concern with it.

Remember, a caddie is required on this course. There aren’t any carts on the course, solely caddies.

I used to be having a lot enjoyable that after gap 3, I made a decision to remain just a few extra, after which just a few extra, and all of the sudden I used to be in for the entire thing! We received beers, placed on sunscreen, and made a day of it. This wasn’t the stuffy recreation of golf I used to be anticipating.

Cabot Cliffs Golf Course Caddie

Ensure you savor the final 3 holes, that are the ‘well-known’ holes proper alongside the cliffs, and by some means Pete really received par gap 16!

Hole 16 Cabot Cliffs

And in case your pocketbook can afford it – get a room at The Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort too – it’s pure luxurious.

Whale watching on Cape Breton

Probably the greatest occasions to go whale watching in Cape Breton is throughout the summer time months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the realm in quest of meals. The most typical whale species noticed right here embrace humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and sometimes even orcas. With their spectacular dimension and sleek actions, witnessing these majestic mammals up shut is an awe-inspiring sight.

A number of tour operators supply guided whale-watching excursions in Cape Breton, offering guests with educated guides who can share attention-grabbing information concerning the completely different whale species encountered throughout the journey. These excursions sometimes happen aboard specifically designed boats that prioritize passenger security whereas minimizing disturbance to the marine atmosphere. So in the event you’re searching for an unforgettable wildlife encounter in a surprising pure setting, don’t miss out on experiencing whale watching in Cape Breton!

Go to the port city of Sydney

Sydney, positioned on the attractive island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is a captivating port city that provides a novel mix of pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage. The downtown space is a bustling hub stuffed with distinctive retailers, pleasant eating places, and historic landmarks. Discover Charlotte Avenue – lined with charming boutiques promoting native crafts and souvenirs – the place you could find the whole lot from hand-knit sweaters to conventional Celtic music CDs.

The world’s largest fiddle is positioned in Sydney. Standing at a staggering peak of 60 toes (18 meters), this colossal fiddle is tough to overlook. Erected in 2005, it holds the Guinness World Report for being the most important playable violin on Earth. It has grow to be a notable landmark within the space, attracting each locals and vacationers alike.

Drive the Cabot Path on Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia is thought for its spectacular driving routes, however the queen of all of them is the Cabot Path. This scenic drive is often suffering from superlatives akin to greatest, and best. It definitely deserves reward because it supplies a complete completely different really feel of Nova Scotia than the opposite routes. The highway hugs the cliffs and winds round forests on the Northwest aspect, and the Japanese aspect supplies a rocky coast dotted with fishing villages and sandy seashores.

There are many scenic lookouts alongside the world-famous Cabot Path providing you with many photograph alternatives or only a place to sit down and take within the magnificent views and eat lunch.

Cape Breton sunset

I counsel you drive the path in a counter clockwise course. This lets you see the sundown since you’ll end the drive on the west aspect of the island. This additionally means for the elements of the drive that go proper alongside the coast, you’ll be on the surface lane of the highway with the most effective views!

In the event you solely have sooner or later to finish the drive, then use this drive the Cabot Path one-day itinerary I did just a few years later.

Strive Fishcakes for Breakfast at Charlene’s

Charlene’s Bayside restaurant in Whycocomagh is thought for serving up the most effective chowder on Cape Breton they usually serve it up for breakfast together with a fish cake and a do-it-yourself biscuit. A fish cake and chowder for breakfast….what??? Belief me on this – it’s unbelievable! Plus, the environment at Charlene’s is like having breakfast in your grandmother’s home, and who doesn’t love that?

Go to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Web site

The location contains two principal sights – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the close by Beinn positioned close to the city of Baddeck. These locations showcase varied displays devoted to Bell’s innovations and experiments.

Guests can discover a variety of artifacts associated to Bell’s life and work on the museum. From early telephones and experimental plane fashions to medical gadgets invented by Bell himself, there’s a lot to see and find out about his groundbreaking improvements.

Cape Breton Alexander Graham Bell Statue
My mom sitting with the Bells in Baddeck!

Along with exploring the displays indoors, guests can wander by the superbly landscaped grounds surrounding the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. The gardens supply breathtaking views of the Bras d’Or Lake and supply a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls.

Go to the Fishing Village of White Level Harbor

On the north finish of Cape Breton Island simply barely off the Cabot Path, you’ll discover White Level Harbor. This previous fishing village is iconic and price a cease.

This isn’t a vacationer city…this can be a fishing village of days passed by. You will discover just a few native fishermen there and piles of lobster traps, however this sleepy little city has nearly no tourism and that’s what makes it so nice. It’s only a good cease with stunning views of a bygone period; an actual take a look at native life on this distant a part of Cape Breton.

Park by the docks and take a little bit stroll across the city. You’ll discover just a few stone foundations and some locals strolling canine. The small dock is stuffed with small fishing boats, just a few native fishermen, and piles of lobster traps. That is all that’s left of a booming fishing village in 1922. There was a lobster manufacturing unit, church, and college there at one level however they’re lengthy gone now.

Find out about Celtic Tradition at The Gaelic Faculty

This non-profit instructional establishment affords programming within the tradition, customs, language, crafts, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. Tucked away within the coronary heart of St. Ann’s, The Gaelic Faculty is sort of a time machine that transports you straight into the colourful world of Gaelic tradition and reside music.

Image this: you possibly can leap into vigorous ceilidh dances that’ll have your toes tapping and your coronary heart racing. And in the event you’ve all the time wished to strum a fiddle or give bagpipes a go, they’ve received workshops that’ll flip you right into a musical maestro (or no less than an honest participant)!

celtic center plaids

However wait, there’s extra! How about diving into the Gaelic language itself? They’ve received language programs that’ll have you ever throwing round “slàinte” (that’s cheers!) and “tapadh leat” (thanks!) like a neighborhood very quickly. And for the artful ones, you possibly can watch and study as expert artisans display conventional Gaelic crafts which were handed down by generations. Test the schedule right here.

Plus, the placement is jaw-droppingly attractive, nestled on the Cabot Path, so that you’ll be surrounded by spectacular surroundings whilst you’re dancing, taking part in, and immersing your self in all issues Gaelic. So whether or not you’re a historical past buff, a Celtic music lover, or simply interested in completely different cultures, the Gaelic Faculty is a must-visit spot that’ll depart you with unforgettable reminiscences and perhaps a jig or two up your sleeve!

Cape Breton Miners Museum

In the event you’re able to dig into Cape Breton Island’s mining historical past, the Cape Breton Miners Museum is the place the motion is! This place is sort of a time capsule that takes you again to the coal mining days when this area was buzzing with miners and their tales. You may roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with the instruments of the commerce, exploring the lifetime of a miner from sunup to sunset. And belief me, it’s quite a bit harder than it sounds!

However that’s not all – they’ve received some real-deal underground excursions that’ll make your coronary heart race and offer you a style of what it was prefer to work deep inside the Earth. You’ll get to really feel the coolness, hear the echoes, and expertise the entire “Are you able to consider folks did this for a dwelling?” vibe.

Plus, the guides are like dwelling encyclopedias, filled with tales that’ll have you ever laughing, gasping, and perhaps even shedding a tear. So in the event you’re up for a journey into the gritty, hardworking previous of Cape Breton Island, seize your hat and headlamp – the Cape Breton Miners Museum is ready to point out you a aspect of historical past you received’t discover in any textbook!

Eat Lobster at Rusty Anchor Restaurant

Nice Bay is a cute little picturesque city on the tip of Cape Breton, and it’s an ideal place to cease to eat some scrumptious Nova Scotia Lobster.

The family-owned Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Nice Bay is tough to overlook. Simply search for the enormous fisherman statue outdoors. Sit on the outside patio and do some whale watching as you wait in your lobster feast.

Sitting outdoors gazing out on the ocean consuming Nova Scotia lobster and ingesting beer – it actually doesn’t get any higher than this. The wait employees is tremendous pleasant and the entire place has a relaxed environment.

The place to Keep in Cape Breton

Normaway Inn and The Barn Music Middle

You’ll depart the Nationwide Park after sundown and proceed alongside the Cabot Path by just a few little cities. As you get to Margaree Forks proceed following the Cabot Path inland to the Normaway Inn; it’s a good spot to remain for the night time. The solar shall be down as you pull in and prepare to relaxation your weary head after a protracted day!

Cape Breton music

Cabot Path Tiny Properties

Keep in a tiny home with a giant view! Cabot Path Tiny Properties have among the greatest views on the Cabot Path. On one aspect you’ve the breathtaking view of Margaree Harbour and the attractive Cape Breton Highlands on the opposite.

Every tiny home is supplied with a deck from which to see the attractive sunsets over the water. There’s additionally a shared outside campfire and a beachfront for swimming or launching kayaks or canoes.

Keltic Lodge and Purple Thistle Eating Room

My mother and I really stayed in a cute little cabin on the Keltic Lodge and loved this elegant historic lodge with its reside music and unbelievable restaurant. After a dinner match for royalty on the Purple Thistle, we loved Celtic music on the lodge. Learn critiques of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

In search of someplace to remain on Cape Breton? Test costs and availability for motels on Cape Breton Island

Extra lodging on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Learn critiques of Inverary Resort

Mid Path Inn – Learn critiques of MidTrail Inn

Keltic Quay Bayfront Lodge & Cottages – ‘picture-perfectly’ positioned on the Whycocomagh Bay searching on Indian Island. Learn critiques of Keltic Quay Lodge

In contrast to my journey 4 years in the past, this week on Cape Breton was an entire take a look at the island. We didn’t need to rush, we may get outdoors and benefit from the views, nature, and tradition of each a part of the island. Along with these adventures, we additionally spent a day at Cabot Cliffs golf course, and a day on the CabotPath.

On the finish of my second Cape Breton Island journey, I puzzled what was left for me to discover once I got here again a 3rd time! The one factor I’m sure of is that this island won’t ever be achieved, there’s all the time extra to see and do.

In search of someplace to remain in Cape Breton Highlands? Test costs and availability for motels in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

How do you get to Cape Breton? It’s simple!

It’s simple to get to Cape Breton with each day direct service from the NYC space to Halifax! There are a number of flights a day by way of Air Canada/United direct to Newark and by way of Delta direct to LGA. It’s only a 2-hour flight and you’ve got US Customs pre-clearance on the Halifax Stanfield Worldwide Airport for the return journey! PLUS…you possibly can stick with it and carry house contemporary lobster from the Halifax airport!

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things to do cape breton island


I used to be a visitor of Nova Scotia Tourism nevertheless my want to return to Cape Breton for a second time was all mine in order that I may have extra time on this pretty place.  All opinions expressed listed here are mine.


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